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Copywriter infringement and/or your personal ethics opinion.

Thunder_ChildThunder_Child Posts: 2,343Member
edited November 2015 in Miscellaneous

If I see a game a like...very common...SLOTS and I like a particular layout I see...and take a device screenshot...then put that into a program like Affinity Designer...and then draw all new buttons with labels...delete the original from my project and such based on that layout...but obviously different "art work", is that anyway able to be considere copy write infringment or even just bad ethics ? Basically redrawing parts of the UI to match someone elses design.

No matter what your opinon is on this I eould like to know it.

Thanks
TC

Comments

  • ArmellineArmelline Posts: 4,718Member, PRO

    If you use the general layout as a guide, but make your own graphics, then you're just taking inspiration and it's what pretty much everyone in ever creative industry does. Games in particular. I'd not worry about it, and it definitely isn't ethically wrong.

    It's a big part of how the games industry has developed. Someone comes up with a good idea and others expand on it and develop it.

  • MoikMoik Posts: 257Member, PRO
    edited November 2015

    UI and mechanical functions are generally covered by Patents rather than Copyrights. Generally speaking, only big companies spend the money on patenting that stuff. There's probably little legal risk in copying a UI placement.

    It could still be used against you in a general copyright infringement case, though. Wizards of the Coast used it against Cryptozoic over the Hex TCG (the placement of information on a Magic card and Hex card generally matched, as did the flow of the game). The UI and Flow of something can be argued are "Trade Dress". Like, UPS has a form of "Trade Dress" pseudo-copyright on their specific shade of brown.

    This article takes a deep dive into exactly the question of what degrees 'flow' are copyrightable:
    http://www.quietspeculation.com/2014/05/understanding-the-wizards-v-hex-lawsuit-in-plain-english/

  • ArmellineArmelline Posts: 4,718Member, PRO

    @Moik said:
    UI and mechanical functions are generally covered by Patents rather than Copyrights. Generally speaking, only big companies spend the money on patenting that stuff. There's probably little legal risk in copying a UI placement.

    It could still be used against you in a general copyright infringement case, though. Wizards of the Coast used it against Cryptozoic over the Hex TCG (the placement of information on a Magic card and Hex card generally matched, as did the flow of the game). The UI and Flow of something can be argued are "Trade Dress". Like, UPS has a form of "Trade Dress" pseudo-copyright on their specific shade of brown.

    This article takes a deep dive into exactly the question of what degrees 'flow' are copyrightable:
    http://www.quietspeculation.com/2014/05/understanding-the-wizards-v-hex-lawsuit-in-plain-english/

    If this was applied to the situation that @Thunder_Child is talking about, then 99% of the games on the app store would have to be removed. Huge swathes of them use broadly very similar menu systems etc. There's only a handful of unique ones.

  • MoikMoik Posts: 257Member, PRO

    @Armelline said:
    If this was applied to the situation that Thunder_Child is talking about, then 99% of the games on the app store would have to be removed. Huge swathes of them use broadly very similar menu systems etc. There's only a handful of unique ones.

    Yup. But, the infringed party need to make the claim. There's a high cost of time to go hunt down all the infringers. Generally speaking, only the affluent companies get targeted in this way.

    As an example of 99% of games being sued in real life, Patent 4,734,690; someone has a patent on the ability to let a camera turn around in a 3D environment. They sued basically every major publisher ever. Many settled. I believe it may be on-going.

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/99233/Atari_Other_Parties_Settle_Major_Game_Patent_Suit.php

  • Thunder_ChildThunder_Child Posts: 2,343Member

    I do plan on switch atound a few things should I start re drawing it I dont want to tailor it a bit. Not copying game scene for scene. And using ALL my own game mechanics and logic coding obviously. Thanks for the replies. Like @Armelline said it is basically a guide of sorts. Background, color, 3d effect of buttons and shine will all be mine. Will do what I feel is best to make UI seem more unique and not an absolute copy of it.

  • MentalDonkeyGamesMentalDonkeyGames Posts: 1,276Member
    edited November 2015

    I think it´s totally fine to use other images as guides / references. As long as you´re not making an identical copy of it.

    I´m very new at making my own art, and i often use this method when practicing my skills, and making assets for my projects. I of course make changes and adjustments to make the art look the way i want, and i never want to copy the artwork i´m using as a "guide".

    Mental Donkey Games
    Website - Facebook - Twitter

  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,906Member

    @Thunder_Child said:
    I do plan on switch atound a few things should I start re drawing it I dont want to tailor it a bit. Not copying game scene for scene. And using ALL my own game mechanics and logic coding obviously. Thanks for the replies. Like Armelline said it is basically a guide of sorts. Background, color, 3d effect of buttons and shine will all be mine. Will do what I feel is best to make UI seem more unique and not an absolute copy of it.

    Why would you make a game that is already out there? I know nothing is original but... To each their own.

  • mhedgesmhedges Raised on VCS Posts: 634Member

    The last sentence of your first paragraph is is the most interesting one.

    I'm no video gambler, but I can imagine all video Slots have at least a coin bet button and a spin button. I don't believe you will be infringing on anything there.

    Functionality:
    If the other game has something specific to it, let's say, a "smart bomb" button or a "mag pulse" button to "cheat on the game" or "earn double credits", and you do that, then you're getting into the questionable area.

    Most driving games have a wheel and a pedal, most shoot-em-ups have L, R and fire buttons. There's only so many combos you can do and screen real estate you can use. It's what one does with them that should be of note.

    Let's put it another way - if your slots game has certain specific button functionality, found nowhere else, would you be upset if I copied them on my own slots game?

    Looks, Sound:
    This is somewhat easier to answer. If I do a Mario (copyright of Nintendo) for my game, that's no good. You can be "inspired" by art, but certainly don't copy it.

    Good luck!

  • Thunder_ChildThunder_Child Posts: 2,343Member

    @Lost_Oasis_Games said:
    Why would you make a game that is already out there? I know nothing is original but... To each their own.

    The game I want to use has a good layout of the UI...but has no animations as I will have plus mine has free spins and a multiplier I will add to it. You make a good point there are tons of slots out there. I have 2 myself. I was wanting to do another...way better 15 reel and delete the others from the App Store...and possibly sell this one on the matketplace to hopefully sell my first asset since the issue last year...that slots game I let loose...and was totally turned to crap on a few marketplaces and still get people asking me to fix his version. I was hoping to make the template and "my own" art asset pack for it.

    After this redux Im done with slots and move to something new.

  • LovejoyLovejoy Posts: 2,078Member

    @Thunder_Child The fact that you mention taking a screenshot and using it to redraw the ui is what can get you in trouble. There is a difference between inspiration and sampling/copying. So just leave that part out and keep it to yourself.

    Fortuna Infortuna Forti Una

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